tv Washington Week With Gwen Ifill PBS April 5, 2013 8:00pm-8:30pm PDT
once again live from washington, moderator gwen ifill. gwen: good evening. just when it seemed the economy was on a reliable upturn and jobs were returning for good comes unsettling news today. instead of the 200,000 new jobs economists predicted for the month of march only 88,000 were add. and even though the unemployment rate dropped to 7.6% that is because some people have given up look for work. so why are things so unstable in the economy? david? >> it was an unambiguous jobs report at least until the government revises it. new jobs were created at half the pace. and the unemployment rate fell only because half a million people left the labor force. and the reason it was so disturbing was that it comes at a time when the other economic data was looking pretty good.
auto sales is going up, housing. the stock market had a bad week this week but it's grown 10% this year. i guess the question is -- what happened? what went wrong? one is there is the revision question. in 10 of the last 14 months the government has revised up its initial estimate. gwen: so it looks better than it seemed. >> it may be that the numbers were strong in january, february, a little offsetting in march. washington is really a minus. it's hard to see that the sequester the across the board spending cuts had any effect yet. it looks like the tax increase is beginning to work its way through. retail employment was down some. the second thing that might be going on is that -- or the third, rather, is that employers are just a little uneasy and
back o to that thing about the wait and see thing and when all the employers wait and see, you get this bad number. i hate to be so negative on the show. but the silver lining is we're not in europe. gwen: that's your silver lining? wow. >> the unemployment rate over there is 12%. the number of countries in europe said this week that in spain the rate of unemployment among people under 25 who are looking for work is 56%. gwen: wow. >> you mentioned that sequester was not a big factor yet. but there doesn't seem to be any urgency right now to solve the sequester problem and the white house has made the case that this will have a corrosive effect month to month. anything in these numbers to suggest that we're beginning to see that or that could get the way of reversing this? >> well, it's definitely the case that it will get -- it will make effect going forward. it's hard to find it in these numbers. government employment was down about 2,000.
that's lost in the noise. if it's having an effect, it may be in some contractor who are not hiring temps. it's hard to see. the white house made a miscalculation. they said the world is going to collapse. we did. we're stuck with it. but it will definitely have an effect as we go forward and we'll see some furlows and lafes in the months ahead. >> one thing we don't hear a lot about are wages, the impact there. are consumers actually to help dig us out of this? >> that's a good question. basically when you have this many unemployed people, employers don't have to give raises because there's always someone willing to do the job. raises have been flat. some months are above inflation. some months a hair below. but there are absolutely no improvement on wages and that makes it hard for people to spend. >> will this effect the federal policy or what the -- >> what the fed has said is they're going to buy a lot of
bonds, $85 million in bonds until the unemployment rate will come down to 6%. there was a little bit of whispering from the fed that maybe they will begin to reduce their purchasesers take their foot off the gas peddle. as for congress and the president, there's 100 economists who have 150 ideas of what they should do. none of them will be accepted. gwen: these jobs that people have stopped looked for, are they gone forever? do we just have to get used to an economy that has -- doesn't have the kind of jobs that it used to have and that the market won't sustain it? >> i don't think we're going to have a permanent underclass of unemployment. i mean, we've gone through this before when we went from the farm to the factory. where are all the form workers'
kids going to work? we came up with jobs that who would have ever imagined then, web designer and massage therapies and stuff. i don't think we're going to run out of jobs until we run out of imagination. the worry is we'll create jobs but they won't be very good. there are almost 300,000 college grads that are working minimum wage jobs. that's double than before the recession. gwen: the other option is that we're in the spring slump and we will grow ourselves out of? >> yeah. it seems that we have a strong start to the year and the slump. some of it was this noise. i think the betting right now is that the first quarter was pretty strong and the second quarter is going to be a little weaker. gwen: ok. thanks, david. now to the escalating tensions on the korean peninsula. a day passed where threats were not issued either from north korean leader or from the u.s. which moved advanced missile
systems to guam to fend off attacks. james carney had this to say today. >> we have seen them launch missiles in the past and the united nations has repeatedly condemned them under numerous security council rezz loses and it would fit their current helpfulof bellicose and and unconstructive. gwen: he keeps using those terms. has there been a lot of bluster? >> bluster is always a big part of it. but there are things that are different. it's worth separating the two. on the bluster side the north jung-un on ang kim big map. if you look at the cold war,
people usually didn't amount it. we don't think they have any missiles that can reach any place close to the united states. there are some rumors that it could reach with -- hawaii. on the other hand, they have shown that their missiles are of growing range. they have now conducted three nuclear tests. it looks like the most recent one was successful. there's no evident that they could put a nuclear weapon on a missile. but sooner or later they'll get there. for a decade and a half, every american president has kicked this problem down the road. we spent time dealing with iraq. we spent time dealing with afghanistan and through it all, the north koreans built on and on and on. and now you're at the point where they actually do have some capability and by some estimates they will be able to reach the
united states if years. gwen: so we should be more worried? >> i think you have to be more worried because the mystery in all of this is kim jung-un himself. he clearly has to somehow impress his own military leadership. and we don't know what quite that's going to take. but they see a 28, 29-year-old who is completely untested. and he's got to show what he can do. in south korea we have a new president, who is the daughter of a south korean strong man. we also don't know how she will react. he's only been in office for a few weeks. this is when mistakes get made when you get people who are inexperienced and nide to prove themselves. >> so if it's not us that he decides to attack, where else could they go? >> well, he's never attacked the united states, you know, in any kind of correct way and the
north koreans usually have not. they did sync a south korean ship but it took months to figure out they were hit by a north korean mini sub and torpedo and there was no retaliation. they did shell a very lightly populated island about three years ago. again the south korean response was quite ineffective. that's why many people believe that president park is going to have to respond. >> and are they trying to get us to respond, us meaning the u.s. to respond to any provocation anywhere in the area? >> you know, it's probably likely that they would try a provocation that would stop just short of giving the u.s. into a response. and the big concern you hear in the pentagon is what stops the escalation? if the south koreans strike back and then suddenly you're into something and we don't understand it and they cut all
the communications lines to korea, so there's that scape valve. >> do they see north korea as good to keep them there so we don't get too close to their border? >> a little bit of both. the traditional chinese position -- of course the chinese were big supporters of north korea. traditional position is that north korea is a buffer that keeps them away from the chinese border. if you listen to what the chinese are saying they are getting tired of all of these acts. you've got significant economic investments with south korea. and they've got to choose between a north korea that's starving and always wants money, oil and a south korea that can provide them with samsung cell phones. and that's a very big difference. the question is are they willing to turn the screws on the north koreans? and there's only one way to do
that, it's to turn off the oil. >> this is something that most presidents have kicked down the road meaning it's not top priority. so has north korean risen to top priority? >> well, iran is a long-term problem because of the region it's in and if they did get a weapon it could start proliferation throughout the middle east. they already have weapons, missiles and they're more unpredictable. gwen: the red line was already crossed. >> it was crossed so long ago people can't even see it in their rear view mirrors. gwen: the senate steam be on the verge of an outbreak on agreement on immigration. the gang of eight signaled that they have ironed out the details of a sweeping compromise but the deal is far from done. where does it stand? >> we're going to find a little bit more when the senate returns next week. the senators, the gang left
before the easter break with the expectations they would ink out the entire proposal and they would have the staff put it into legislative language. that didn't happen because of the last minute walk out. the dispute was between labor and business on what they call the future flow. this is the future low skilled workers who are going to come in from other countries. keep in mind we have 11 million here who are doing these kind of jobs, we're talking cleaning hotel, janitorial work, restaurant work. in order to -- to avoid the problem that happened in 1986, the last time they legalized the illegal population they want to create some sort of work visa to allow new people to come in and fill those jobs. >> temporarily. >> temporarily but with the option to stay if they would like to. >> the labor didn't like that. >> what labor is concerned about a number of things. it gets very complicated very
quickly. but the broad -- the broad brush of it is that in 1986 president regan legalized three million illegal alien but -- aliens but did not create a way to do that in the future. we're talking about doing the same thing but we need to come up with a way to deal with the future flow. the problem that labor has is that they don't want to see too many of these -- of these foreigners come in and take these jobs that they think the rights should go to americans. the gang of eight has said labor and business, u.s. chamber of commerce, you guys figure it out. we're going to have some sort of program like this. i don't think they're too far off. but they're still tugging on the numbers. >> what about -- i guess i --
one real big question is about marco rubio. and he's the guy that we spend so much time talking about. he's supposed to be the leader of this gang and yet he was the one that sort of broke out first and foremost saying this isn't a done deal. and the second thing is where the house fits into all of this because that's really where the hard liners are and that to me seems the hardest place to get an immigration bill to get through. >> it's been performed in two different parts. i would not think that marco rubio is the leader of this gang. that falls more to chuck schumer from new york and cain from arizona. the road that rubio plays is the lynch pen. if he walks, the deal dies. and he's well aware of that. part of what he's doing last week when they were trying to say there is a deal, there is a deal. hold on. no, no. not done yet. we need marco rubio in the room because without him he needs to
have the conservative tea party. >> and that's the next phase of this that there's a couple of members of the house raul labrador is from what i can tell the real leader from the tea parties. all of them are washingtonning what he's doing. i think they're willing to talk about it much the same way that marco rubio is. there are secret but they are as secret as anything in washington. >> how does this go from talks to legislation? >> a couple of things that that i'm not quite sure. one is what kind of border security benchmarks to do you need in order to allow the rest of the process to go forward? and when are they put in place. this is something that you can negotiate it by degrees.
>> certain things happen. >> right. so there's a border security element to that. the other thing that has not been resolved and this is the place where unions and business are negotiating it. what are the overall numbers? how many new immigrants can we accept into the country on any given year? what they're talking about having some sort of economic model when the need goes up, you allow more people. but the last i checked the numbers were very far apart. you've got the business saying we need $300,000. >> it seems that it was a little bit more than what we're accustomed to. >> think -- i think he was trying to imitate president kennedy. so this is -- it's hard to fill that roll. he's a real deal-maker.
and he's very good at tugging a group of people who disagree together. he's famous for doing things like schedule ling press conferences right before they are actually have a deal to say that we have a deal. d i think that his -- that's really been his role. we'll be seeing a lot of chuck schumer. >> no change there. gwen: finally tonight, speaking of politics, politics at the beginning of the year, i promised -- i promised we would resist talking about the 2016 he campaign for throast as we humanly could. well, i no longer humanly can. hillary clinton popped up on the same stay and stirs the pot vigorously. is she running or not? >> we really did break our code.
it's too hard. we're only human. everything that hillary does is going to be analyzed to death. if she blows her nose. we want to know what kind of kleenex. is a khali next from south carolina. we are looking at three big things to let you know she's very serious. she may not do this. the one is talking about issues. which iran shoes does she deseed to talk about? i think it's very important that she put in a six minute video together to explain her change of position on gay marriage. that was the one issue that she was right on the democratic base. unlike other politicians who may run, so she has a lot more reason to go with herer.
and the second what are the allies doing? it's very significant that this week, james carville, a clinton-ite decided to jump on the bandwagon saying we got the ferrari. i don't know if he said ferrari. it was something to that effect. the last thing is you know, how she chooses to make money and spend her time. we saw mitt romney go off the campaign trail and go right back under the board of marriott, enture capital with his son. hillary clinton does she just go on this speech circuit? is that what she's going to be spending her time doing? does she want to go make fun? and if she does, where does she go do that and what sort of
potential pitfalls? >> amy, as we're watching all of us look at this too early, everybody is thinking it's in her interest to wait on this decision and announcement to freeze the money and freeze the deal. >> tell us how that strategy plays out. what do you do for the last 30 months. >> when does that work? >> what does? >> the freing the pill. >> if you talk to anyone in joe biden's work, they're running. push the button. martin o'malley the government nor of maryland he's got a very high profile scenes. the governor pushing an incredibly little bit agenda. so he's getting himself setup. you're not going to i'm going the fundraiser here.
and they have their operation in place. i think we're seeing more an more that there may now -- there's a need for companies to rate their money. so what about bill? he's been out of the head lines. he's the most popelar politician, well, next to her -- popular politician, well, next to her. >> maybe even more. >> we all sat in focus. and when the motte ray tor asked about political figures. these are swing voters. these are republicans. oh, big clinton, we love bill clinton. these are people who 10 years worst ught to he was the thing let's face it, there are a whole bunch of people on the democratic side. he is the reason that obama has a second term.
so he has a fre cache. the two of them have not been as popular. -- et, it can go down >> the question then are whether they're working as hard as the democrats. thank you amy for letting me break my promise the my viewers. >> you're thinking well boy, that went fast. we're launching a brand-new feature tonight. as always the conversation will continue on our "washington week" extra. you'll be able to watch it ive-on by ustream. you can watch us at 8:00, 8:30 eastern time. right -- we'll see you next week right here on "washington week."
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